Sunday, 30 March 2008

Not cooking the books - just trying to find them!

Sorry for the silence but we have been rather busy. We are sorting our finaces out for presentation to H.M. Revenue & Customs in order to claim Gift Aid. The forms are simple enough but sadly my 'system' of leaving myself notes on scraps of paper (going green is my excuse) odd notebooks and so on drives Joyce crackers. Thank goodness she's more methodical than I am. My habit of receiving an application is to pay out the cash and assume that money to back the pay-out will arrive somehow or other generally works. I don't know how it works but it does! We even have money (not a lot, but some) in hand. Just as well because I'm visiting The Gambia in April and there will be needy people there. I was reading on the Jubilee Debt Campaign website that The Gambia has at last completed the International Debt cancellation process which will wipe out 140 million dollars of debt. Considering that poverty is endemic in the country - about a third of the population undernourished and 60% living on LESS than a dollar a day - the country could not service its debts let alone spend money on improving health and education. Fingers crossed that conditions will improve but I guess G.O.E.S. will be needed for a long time yet.
So thanks to all the people who support us - family, friends, our favourite coffee shop, my barber and all the wonderful people in Vale Royal Writers Circle who are backing our work with the income from sales of the 'Cheshire Collection' anthology.
Meanwhile the accounts need completing and the spare bed groans under the weight of books, medical supplies and goodness knows what else and I wait for a letter from the airline allowing a few extra kgs baggage!
Back to it!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Alagie waits at home ...

waits at home ...

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Quick update!

What's going on? Alagie, the boy with the bad leg has been to the hospital again and been examined by a team of three doctors. The report is much the same as previous reports but does arrange for another meeting early in April which will hopefully set a date for an operation. There was a little confusion because of an error on his certificate but that has been sorted out. His parents have worked very hard to improve his care and we have supplied a water filter and several towels for his exclusive use. He continues to take the tablets and we hear that he is now in less pain. He went to see the local boys play football a couple of days ago which was a bit of a treat as he has rarely been out of his compound since he became ill.
Meanwhile the pile of goodies grows in our spare room - clothing, medical supplies, pencils & books grow. I haven't heard yet from Thomas Cook about an increased baggage allowance but fingers remain crossed!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Back with us ...

Sorry to have been out of touch for a while- blame ageing bones and stupidity! Determined to demonstrate that I didn't have the 'flu I went for a long bike ride, became very cold & lost voice, ability to stand up and sulked for a few days in bed. Drat!
Back to what passes as 'normal' now, so lots of calls to The Gambia, letters, counting pennies and planning the next trip (late April).
The boy's leg appears to be responding to regular antibiotics, and there has been a conference between three doctors to decide when to operate. We've paid for yet another medical report, and expressed our continued support for him so maybe something will happen in the very near future.
One of the advantages of being a "micro-charity" is that we know personally everybody we deal with, we can, with their permission, put Gambians in touch with their sponsors - we can facilitate exchange of letters & e-mails and have been able to suggest how sponsors can visit the friends they have made. Not everybody wants to, of course. Many people are willing to give GOES the money and leave us to get on with it, and it's great to be trusted, but the chance is there if wanted!
We repeat the promise that ALL money given to GOES goes to needy people in The Gambia - we don't deduct anything for our expenses, travel costs, offices in Park Lane, a fleet of 4x4s,
or anything else. We love what we're doing and will do it as long as we can.
We are a charity registered with H.M.R & C for Gift Aid (we can claim 28% extra on donations made from taxable income) but at the moment we're just below the Charity Commission's lower income level of £5,000 pa for registration with them. Hopefully we'll soon be above this level.
Many thanks to everybody who has helped us or expressed interest and support. We have no political or religious affiliation. It just seems a good idea to do what we are doing. We would welcome your comments.